Authoring Non-Action in Early China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay explores a call for non-action in certain ancient Chinese texts that, contrary to expectation, implicitly upholds definitions of action that are comparable to Western understandings of the term. The call for non-action in ancient Chinese texts differs significantly, however, from what Western theorists usually define as legitimate, agent-led action through its negation of viewing means-end calculations as the basis of action. Closer analysis of such formulations on non-action reveal that that there is room for a broader definition in action theory of what constitutes a coherent, unified, creative agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Chinese Philosophy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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